March 27, 2007

Province Continues to Promote Responsible Gambling

The Honourable Tom Marshall, Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board, announced today that government is moving forward with phase two of its five-year Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) reduction strategy and unveiled new measures aimed at promoting responsible gambling.

The minister said effective April 1, 2007, approximately 105 VLT terminals will have been removed from the system. This is in addition to the 91 VLT terminals removed during phase one of the strategy. Minister Marshall also announced the hours of operation for VLTs will be changed to noon to midnight daily. Currently, VLTs are operational from 9:00 a.m. 2:30 a.m. VLTs will also be reprogrammed to slow the speed of play by approximately 30 per cent.

"The measures announced today complement measures already taken to promote responsible gambling such as removing the stop button feature, which slows the speed of play and removes any false sense of control over the outcome of the game that players might have had. As well, new educational materials have been added to each VLT site," noted Minister Marshall. "We will continue to work with the Atlantic Lottery Corporation and stakeholders to find new ways to promote responsible gambling."

Other responsible gambling features on VLTs in Newfoundland and Labrador include:

  • Help line number displayed on all machines;
  • On-screen clock which displays real time;
  • All wagers and amounts won are displayed in dollar amounts;
  • Pop-up reminders will occur after 60 min, 90 min, 120 min, 140 min (cash out warning) at 150 min of play (cash out);
  • Stop button removal;
  • New materials at retail posters, business cards, etc, featuring help line, and debunking myths about play;
  • Site holders receive responsible gaming training.
  • "Newfoundland and Labradors gambling prevalence study indicates that about 1.2 per cent of the province's population are problem gamblers, and government is concerned about the impact of addictions on individuals and families. We are committed to strengthening resources and improving infrastructure to assist persons struggling with addictions," concluded Minister Marshall. "Government has invested $2.7 million over the past three years to assist persons struggling with alcohol, drug and gambling problems."


    Media contacts:

    Bill Hickey
    Director of Communications
    Department of Finance
    709-729-6830, 691-6390
    Paula Dyke
    Atlantic Lottery Corporation

    2007 03 27                           11:50 a.m.


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